“We Don’t Have Any Intellectual Property”: Responding to a Common Startup Misconception

Whenever we meet with a new or potential startup client, one of the questions we always ask is what intellectual property the company has that it…


Protecting Corporate Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a critical asset in many startups, especially technology startups, and often provides the foundations for the value…


Employer-Employee Relationship Matters in Patent Ownership

When an employee creates an invention and later is issued a patent on that invention, does the employer get any rights to the patent? This might be a…


The On-Sale Bar to Patentability: A Pitfall for the Startup

Sales are generally a good thing. A startup company’s first sales of a new technology, “must-have” product, or innovative service are proof that the…


U.S. Trademark Law & The Hashtag: #canthisviolatetrademarklaw?

In the past decade, with the advent of social media, companies have found a multitude of new avenues for reaching potential consumers. Instead of…


Domain Names and Trademarks: How to Get Your Website Name Sorted

  Turns out being John Malkovich isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. One of the first thing all new businesses do today is register a domain…


Linking to Copyrighted Content: Not a Foolproof Way of Avoiding Infringement Liability

There is a common misperception that “linking” to copyrighted content on other webpages, instead of simply copying and pasting an image, for example,…


When Should a Business Incorporate?

Although this is a complex question, thinking about it sooner rather than later may help the startup survive cofounder conflicts such as equity…


Slinky!

Hiring New Employees: Beware the Risks of Assignor Estoppel

A drawing included for the patent for a slinky (Patent #: US 2415012 A), issued in 1947. Startup companies frequently hire new employees from…


The Dangers of Copying Terms of Service and How to Avoid Them

It might be tempting to copy the Terms of Use from another website, but should you? Attribution: Cathy Olson. Facebook has 1.55 billion users, and…